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Brand Development In The Real World

by Johnny Bravo · 23 comments

Brand Development In The Real WorldUp until about 20 years ago, offline brand management was all there was. The internet wasn’t filled with blogs, feeds, tweets, likes, or shares. Heck, the internet wasn’t much of anything at all.

There was just you to spread your brand. And as we’ll talk about today,in many ways that is better.

As a professional sales person I recognize the importance of showcasing my professional brand every time I am in front of someone. Whether that is a client, prospect, coworker, boss, or even friend.

I want to always put my best foot forward. And the below options are some of the more common ways you can do the same thing. Spread your offline brand to become known in your industry.

Trade Shows

Trade shows can be a a very successful form of networking and prospecting. Any opportunity when you can put your message in front of a large number of peers or prospects is a wonderful opportunity.

If you do trade shows it’s important to keep your brand consistent in all your communications. Make sure your banner or booth drapes, covers, backdrops, etc. all use the same colors, logos, and imagery.

A great idea I learned from Chet Holmes The Ultimate Sales Machine (affiliate link) is to have a “gimmick” at your booth. Offer drinks, massages, or some other offering that will keep people engaged and force them to spend some more time at your booth.

Part of trade show brand management is making your booth fun and a place where prospects or peers feel comfortable going and hanging out.

Most importantly have fun and engage people as they walk past. You don’t want to be known as the booth where the sales person simply sits and is on their phone or computer.

Seminars / Public Speaking

Seminars are a great opportunity to develop your brand and deliver your message to a wider audience.  It’s also a great place to sell auxiliary products to your main offerings.

I do not have much experience in doing this myself but it is one area I’d like to improve on in 2013.

There are plenty of organizations and companies out there that would love to have a thought leader such as yourself come in and talk to their sales team or group.

Keep in mind that they are not inviting you in to sell your wares. Instead they are inviting you in to teach them something new.

For example, if I were invited in to give a seminar on property management software, which I sell, I would’t focus on my software. The would be a seminar called “Top 10 Reasons MRI Software Is The Best Property Management Software“.

Who cares? Most people won’t. And most people will not attend a seminar like that.

Alternatively when giving a seminar I would instead focus on problems that are faced in my target prospects market.

Some topics I could give a seminar on include:

  • Why Enterprise Level Property Management Software May Not Be Right For You
  • Top 10 Reasons Your Property Management Software Isn’t Making You Money 
  • Five Disastrous Challenges Property Management Companies Are Facing In The Market Today
  • The 8 Most Important Requirements For A Property Management Software

Did you notice how those topics are focused on the audience’s pains and not my software? All of them are focused on solving a problem or answering questions that your customers need answered.

Your goal should be to provide knowledge in these seminars. Not sell…I repeat NOT SELL!

The second you start pushing your product on these people they will tune out. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t offer your products up to them, but is the last thing you do. And when you do, it must tie in nicely with what you’ve been talking about.

Let them know, “Our product does fix the 5 pains we went over. If you’d like to know more let me know so we can try to schedule a time to talk about your individual situation“. No selling there, just a hey lets talk statement.

That will keep their defenses down and help build trust.

Client Meetings

You have a brand to represent every time you meet with a prospect or client.  If you represent yourself as a consultant, be sure to have a strong consultative nature when you’re meeting with someone.

Be sure to let them know about your other branded mediums. Online blogs, trade shows you’re in, or any publications you have.

You should dress as a professional sales person, unless your brand is the “Cowboy Sales Man” or the “Rockstar Seller” where more unconventional attire could work. Don’t go overboard though.

Be sure that anything you send or give to a prospect or client stays true to your brand. Consistency is key, not only in sales training, but in developing your brand as well.

Paper Publications

Did you know that trade magazines and publications are always looking for great content writers? Especially from industry experts who know what they’re talking about.

Guess what…. that’s YOU!

Reach out to editors, have something ready to present to them.  Give them a bit about your background, send them copies of your other writings. Build your credibility.

Here’s an idea. If When you get published in a publication or trade magazine be sure to get a bunch of copies. In fact I’d say buy EVERY copy you can get your hands on.

Send them to your prospects with the page of your article marked. Include a small note saying something like…

Hey Sarah, I was working with [Mr. Editor] over at [Trade Magazine] about [Industry Topic]. I thought you would find the article interesting. You know trends that are going on in the industry. I’d love to set up a time to talk it over. Give me a call tomorrow to set that up.”

Hows that for building credibility? Not only that, you are giving them a nice ego boost at the same time.

Because you, Ms. Published Article, are asking to talk with them about the topic at hand.

Business Cards

I’ll be touching on this more in a later post but business cards should obviously be well branded.

This includes your logo, colors, tag lines, and maybe even Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook icons or URLs. At least so they know you have a presence on those social media sites.

Business cards are one of the most handed out collateral. They should represent you well.

Gifts

This is another area I’ll cover in a later post but appropriate for this conversation as well.

If you give out gifts at tradeshows or through your marketing efforts. Have them branded as well as you can.

No matter what type of gifts you send they should prominently showcase your brand.

The Real World Still Exist

It’s important to not neglect it.

Get your name out there by actually being out there. Meet people, show how great of a person you are in real life and your sales will show the dividends from such activities.

~Johnny Bravo

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Jefferson April 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

I have always gotten more traffic when I have a chance to meet people in the real world and pass out business cards.

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Johnny Bravo April 7, 2013 at 10:27 am

Hi Jon, thanks for sharing. I have to agree that my in person interactions have always lead to more traffic and business.

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Leora Wenger April 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I’ve done some public speaking, and I have one upcoming scheduled. You are right, I should do more!

Business cards are nice, as Jon says, though I haven’t gotten much out of handing those out.

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Johnny Bravo April 7, 2013 at 10:38 am

Leora, about the business cards, check out my recent post and tell me what you think. It’s called Are Business Cards Friend Or Foe? I have a love hate relationship with business cards myself.

That’s great you have a public speaking opportunity coming up. I am looking forward to getting into that as well. Good luck with your speech (Or is it “break a leg”)

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Darlene April 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Are you trying to tell me to get dressed and get out of the house more often? 🙂

I agree with Leora, I haven’t had an success with business cards.

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Johnny Bravo April 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

You’re not alone Darlene. Business cards are a hit or miss. I would love to hear from someone who has had a lot of success, that can be attributed to using business cards. Not as easy to come across as you would think.

And yes! Fresh air is good for everyone 😀

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Hola BackGrinder April 5, 2013 at 6:59 am

Great points all, and one thing I would mention: most online networking techniques are actually copied from offline ones, so if you are doing a lot of online work already you already have most of your prep done. A blog post or slide deck can make a great short speech or presentation.

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Johnny Bravo April 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

You’re absolutely right. Content can be rehashed to be used online or offline. Great point. To add to your idea, they can even be used as scripts for video posts. Thanks for sharing.

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Dan Hitt April 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

What a great article. You got me right away with no. one being Trade Shows. I had never even considered doing a trade show but when you brought that up I got on google and found out there are A LOT of trade shows that I might like to give a go to. So awesome start…

And it just got better. I’ll def subscribe to you through Linked In, (where I found the link to this article) with the intent of reading more of your marketing/business insights.

Paper publications… I’ve been very focused on the internet, but you are so right about this and the other ‘real world’ things that I can easily interact with to help me grow with people that will care about my product.

Great article.

-dan

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Johnny Bravo April 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Thanks Dan. For stopping by and commenting. I’m glad you enjoy the site and be sure to stop by often for the next month. I’m posting twice a day 5 days a week. Looking forward to seeing you around.

And good luck with those trade shows. Let me know how it goes.

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Jeri April 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

I’m hoping business cards will prove helpful when I attend a writing conference and pitch my novel to agents and editors.

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Johnny Bravo April 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Good luck Jeri! Go get em!

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Kelly Wade April 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Great post, this is so important! People are very focused on building networks online because it has rapidly become very important in the business world, but that is causing professionals to neglect forming real world relationships and contacts which should still be the main focus, for all the reasons you list here.

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Johnny Bravo April 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Exactly Kelly. It’s one thing to focus on one form of relationships building over another, but neglecting any of them will not end well. Thanks for stopping by.

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Susan Cooper April 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Face to face is great for networking. I believe the importance of building relationships with people outside of online chat and email. Great article. 🙂

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Johnny Bravo April 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Thanks Susan. I’m right there with you obviously. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment. I’ll see you around.

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Jessica Fedorko April 9, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thank you thank you thank you! I am about to have a “trunk show” which is a more personalized trade show and I needed all of this advice! I’m glad I’m doing the right things… I am definitely going to refer back to this posting. I can’t wait to read the one on business cards. I need to update mine, and someone was telling me of a website where you can get bar codes for free? An interesting idea.

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Johnny Bravo April 9, 2013 at 9:59 am

Hi Jessica, you are most welcome.

I don’t believe I’ve heard of a site where you can get free barcodes but let me know when you get the address. That sounds pretty cool. I know you can use Google’s URL shortener (http://goo.gl/) to get a free QR code which I’ve used before. Sounds like a good idea though. Best of luck with the trunk show.

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Ashley F April 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Hi Johnny, as a new entrepreneur and blogger and I am learning so much from people like you about what is possible and what not to do in the world of marketing and sales. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

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Johnny Bravo April 12, 2013 at 9:08 am

Hi Ashely, thanks for stopping by. Glad I’m helping you out. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

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Robert Alan Yeatts Jr. April 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I found this quite helpful! Keep up the good work man!

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